Churchill Downs Race Track Betting

The most famous and iconic of all racetracks, Churchill Downs is the home of the world’s most important race, the Kentucky Derby. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the famed twin spires at the historic track are universally recognized by even the most casual of fans as a symbol of the venue and its signature race. Opened in 1875, the track has expanded exponentially from its once humble origins and is currently capable of seating around 170,000 spectators.

Churchill Downs Entries 

The Kentucky Derby attracts more wagering dollars than nearly any other single sporting event, but there’s no need to rush or fight crowds even if you’re one of the 150,000 plus spectators at the track on the first Saturday in May. In fact, year-round betting on Churchill Downs and other major tracks from around the country can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home or while on the go when players find a trusted online wagering racebook. But convenience is just part of the advantage. Online racebooks also feature loyalty programs, rebates, and bonuses that put more money back into the pockets of its players. Here are a few recommended online racebooks.

Each year the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby draw hundreds of thousands of fans and a national television audience. Churchill currently hosts three separate racing meets: a Spring/Summer meet from late April-early July, a September meet, and a fall meet from late October-late November. The Kentucky Derby is a cultural phenomenon that transcends the sport of thoroughbred racing. Run at a mile and one-quarter, the race is considered the first leg of the Triple Crown series and draws the biggest field of the three races with 20 horses regularly lining up in the starting gate. The Derby is the longest continuously run race held at a single venue in the US.

The big race is always held on the first Saturday in May and is preceded the day before by the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks – a race that draws nearly as many spectators. Both of Churchill Downs signature races are for three-year-olds, with the Oaks being restricted to fillies. The Clark Handicap and Stephen Foster are the premier races held for older horses with the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic serving as the track’s top grass event. 

The big race is always held on the first Saturday in May and is preceded the day before by the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks – a race that draws nearly as many spectators. Both of Churchill Downs signature races are for three-year-olds, with the Oaks being restricted to fillies. The Clark Handicap and Stephen Foster are the premier races held for older horses with the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic serving as the track’s top grass event. 

Churchill Downs Picks

Often thought of as a “fair” racing strip, the Churchill Downs main track generally plays equally to closers and early speed horses. The long homestretch is akin to tracks like Belmont Park and Fair Grounds, giving stretch runners ample opportunity to find their best stride. As can be said of most racing surfaces, horses that excel over the Churchill dirt are often ones that have shown ability handling the surface in previous races and/or workouts. Some trainers have remarked how horses switching from turf to the Churchill dirt seem to make this transition more seamlessly than at other dirt tracks. The Churchill turf surface features no remarkable biases, but horses drawing the ten-hole or wider in two-turn races have traditionally been at a disadvantage due to the tight turns.

The Pick 3, Pick 4 and exacta are popular pools amongst regular Churchill Downs bettors.

With a host of talented trainers and horses calling Churchill home throughout its spring/summer and fall meetings, the racing product is comparatively strong to tracks hosting a similar number of racing days. Churchill Downs generally features a strong allowance race and a maiden special weight races as part of its daily offerings. Bettors looking to escape the state-bred restricted races offered daily in New York, Louisiana, California, Illinois and most other racing jurisdictions, typically find Churchill’s cards more competitive.     

Churchill Downs Race Results

For all the fuss about picking a Kentucky Derby winner, the favorite has won the race in each of the last four years with Orb, California Chrome, American Pharoah, and Nyquist all living up to their expectations. Secretariat, perhaps the most famed and immortal of all thoroughbreds, still holds the Kentucky Derby track record with his sub-two-minute performance in 1973. In addition to the big race, the Kentucky Derby undercard offers a betting bonanza of stakes races each year. 

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